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The splintered opposition parties have been essentially powerless against the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the two years since the 2012 poll. Last Sunday, they let the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito gain a two-thirds majority in the Lower House for the second general election in a row.

Now they must learn from their failures of the past two years to rebuild themselves in a way that enables them to meaningfully challenge the ruling bloc and give voters a genuine choice.

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